At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured Monday in northwestern Yemen when an airstrike hit a UN-run camp for refugees and internally displaced people, according to the International Organization for Migration.
A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Houthi-controlled parts of the country for five days now, following an escalation of Yemen's civil conflict that led President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee the southern city of Aden and seek refugee in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Hadi previously escaped Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, after the rebels placed him on house arrest.
Monday's strike hit the area surrounding Mazraq, near Harad, where a bundle of camps are home to thousands of people who fled civil strife in Yemen over the last decade. Migrants from East Africa also reside in the camps.
"There were 40 dead and 200 injured. And of those 25 are considered quite severe, 175 medium to low and three are governments soldiers who were sent to protect the displaced," Leonard Doyle, an IOM spokesman, told VICE News. Doyle was unsure about the affiliation of the "government" soldiers in the camp.
"The site has been there for a number of years, it's not something that's popped up in the last couple of weeks," Doyle added. "One would assume that a camp of 5,000 that's been there for quite a number of years would be known to military planners — one would hope so."
An additional 750 families arrived in the camps in recent days, Reuters reported.
The photos below, shared on Facebook by a local resident, show some of the injured in a local hospital.
Photos by Abu Tariq Wahan/Facebook
Humanitarian workers at the camp said nearby military facilities may have been the intended target of the strike.
Yemeni authorities gave differing accounts of the incident, with one official saying a truck full of Houthi militiamen was hit. The country's foreign minister blamed the casualties on Houthi "artillery," not an airstrike.
Some initial reports said that 45 people were killed. Houthi officials, who have been accused of receiving support from Iran in their battle against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, put the death toll at 40 with 250 injured, Reuters reported.
The videos and photos below show recent airstrikes on other parts of Yemen, including an aerial assault near the presidential palace in Sanaa, which is under Houthi control.
Damn it I hate YouTube upload being slow/and crashing at moment. Here are stills for now of Sana— Hisham Al-Omeisy (@omeisy) March 30, 2015
Samuel Oakford contributed to this report.
Follow Alice Speri on Twitter: @alicesperi